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UN marks World Day to Combat Desertification

Ten years on: UN marks World Day to Combat Desertification

Observances worldwide on June 17, 2004

http://unccd.int

BONN, Germany, 2 June 2004 - One fifth of the world’s population is threatened by the impacts of global desertification. Its effects can be seen all over the world, be it in Asia, the Sahel, Latin America, throughout North America or along the Mediterranean. Today, a third of the earth's surface is threatened by desertification, which adds up to an area of over 4 billion hectares of the planet.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the United Nations and its agencies remind the global community that the breadth of drought and soil degradation cannot be ignored.

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is commemorated each year on 17 June. It is part of a UN led international campaign to increase awareness of land degradation. This year's celebration carries special significance as 2004 marks the tenth anniversary of the Convention’s implementation. Its theme also highlights the Social Dimensions of Desertification: Migration and Poverty.

Celebrations are set to take place worldwide. In Bonn, Germany, the home of the UNCCD Secretariat, a ceremony marking the anniversary will be held with local authorities and civil society at the City Hall on June 17.

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